Universiteit Leiden

nl en

World Archaeology (BA)

Career prospects

The combination of practical knowledge and academic skills makes you valuable to many employers. You will be ready to take on various positions in commercial companies, the government, research institutes, heritage agencies, laboratories, or museums.

Ruud Stelten


Ruud Stelten

"Soon after finishing my master's, I moved to the Caribbean and started working as an archaeologist on St. Eustatius. I have immersed myself in underwater archeology in the colonial period (1500-1900). I study for example shipwrecks, remains of old warehouses and sunken ports and try to map the maritime cultural landscape on the islands. In addition, I have set up an archaeological and historical museum on Bonaire, where I can transfer my research results to the local population."


"I like the variety in my work. I do not like to do the same job day in, day out, year in, year out. Archeology offers a good combination of being inside and outside, working alone and working with people. Sometimes I spend two weeks on the road with a group of students, we’re diving for research and then I spend a few weeks writing a report. For many archaeologists, the work is almost a way of life: your work is your hobby as well. I also believe that you must love your work to be successful."


"The work we do is important for people today. For example, in 2012-2013 I excavated a slave village. That was the first village on that scale that was found in the Caribbean. It gives good insights into the life of people on plantations. That turns out to be completely different from what we thought based on written sources - often written by Europeans. The ancestors of the current inhabitants did not leave written accounts, but we give them back their voice by means of archaeological research."

Broad array of skills

The broad array of skills that you will acquire as an archaeologist will make you an attractive target for a wide range of employers. These skills will equip you for a variety of positions in the Netherlands or abroad, in government or in business. They will also make you an objective, critical and, above all, articulate and creative thinker.

Creative thinkers have the ability to draw logical and accurate conclusions from incomplete information, and to come up with practical and original solutions. This ability will make you a great fit with many different professions.

Stepping-stone to the job market

Your archaeology master’s can be a stepping-stone up to a career in almost every sector of the job market. It is the winning combination of practical knowledge and academic skills that fuels employers’ demand for Leiden University’s archaeology graduates.

Sectors in which graduates of Archaeology are employed

  • 37 % Consultancy Archaeology
  • 29 % Government
  • 22 % Research
  • 4 % Public-interest group
  • 2 % Education
  • 2 % Arts and culture
  • 2 % NGO
  • 2 % Others

Our graduates find employment as:

  • field archaeologists
  • researchers
  • PhD candidates at Leiden University or other universities
  • policy advisors at governmental institutes or NGOs
  • consultants with independent or commercial companies
  • museum curators
  • cultural resource managers (Heritage)
  • university or secondary school teachers
  • journalists
  • publishers
  • public relations officers
  • project managers
  • digital education officers at museums
  • digital specialists

This website uses cookies. More information.